During the 2021-22 season, the Auburn Tigers averaged 25.3 points per game from bench players alone. In an 83-78 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies, Auburn’s bench contributed just 10 points to the effort, only two of which came in the second half when the Tigers needed it most.
Auburn’s K.D. Johnson would be the point leader off the bench with a second chance three-pointer with 11 minutes and a driving layup with six and a half minutes left in the first half to put the Tigers up 27-15
Johnson would finish with five points, three rebounds, and two assists, all of which came in the first half, only adding a missed field goal and a personal foul in the six minutes he got in the second half.
Due in part to the work of Auburn bench players Auburn would lead 34-25 with four minutes left in the first half.
“The bench had a great first half,” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. “They weren’t as good in the second half.”
Texas A&M would ultimately ride the momentum from the 12th man and the play of point leader Wade Taylor IV to a 12-2 run to end the half and take the lead 37-36.
Aggie’s Wade Taylor IV would end the night with 22 points, seven assists, and a rebound. Close to tying him in the points column for Auburn was Wendell Green Jr, who finished with 20 points, four rebounds, and six assists.
Green would also be one of two Tigers who finished with a technical foul the other being Allen Flanigan who got a double technical with Texas A&M’s Solomon Washington.
Fouls were yet again a question that will be picked over by the armchair referees of Twitter, as Auburn would end with 14 free throws while the Aggies ended with 39.
“They shot 27 free throws in the second half that’s certainly hard to overcome,” said Pearl.
Auburn and Texas A&M would engage in a back-and-forth matchup throughout the second half, neither team really being able to completely grab control, until the 29th second with a three-pointer that was missed by Wendell Green Jr, while down two as the score read 78-76.
The shot came after a timeout where Pearl appeared to draw up a play for Jaylin Williams who finished the game with the best three-point percentage going 3-5. Texas A&M would keep their two-point lead and add to it with free throws winning 83-78.
“We had Wendell come off a couple of screens, he wasn’t clear,” said Pearl “so he made a play and got Jaylin a good look.”
Overall, the worries from the armchairs on social media have not changed, and the opponent this Saturday in the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide scares them. The Iron Bowl of basketball will be at 1:00 pm inside Neville Arena.